And then? CCP was owned by a small group of large investors before. They felt it is the right time to sell. In their world, money trumps everything else. Whatever companies they buy, hold or sell - it’s only about making money in the process. A fundraising campaign can finance your friends music video, but not the financial thirst of investors. Also, where do you think the money, taken there was a fundraising campaign, would have gone to? Do you think that a couple hundred k would have stopped the former owners from selling for a total of $425m? They wanted to turn their shares into liquid and there was a buyer who took the entire package, rather than buying off the filet parts. Taken the circumstances, this is rather good, as it means that EVE can keep running.
And then? How much more are you willing to pay? And what do you think it would change? Is it your belief that with such a campaign you could double the yearly revenue of the company? What kind of signal would that send? Company barely kept alive by players charity? Nah, this could easily decrease the valuation of the entity, despite showing for a loyal customer base. And if the valuation decreases, the owners have to settle for a lower sale in the end.
Look: this is capitalism. Don’t worry, I will spare you my usual communist propaganda, just give a tiny bit of context in simplified terms. In capitalism an entity such as a company is interesting for investors if they see the potential for growth or at the very least a stable and good revenue stream without the danger of the entity losing value. That’s how investors make money, that’s the reason why they put money into companies: make more money. On that level it does not matter how useful or nice the company is for its customers: if it doesn’t make the investors rich(er), it is not going to find investment. If the company is already owned by investors, as CCP was, these investors want to see their thing through. It means that they wont hold their shares forever, unless they expect a great rise in value or the incoming dividends are superb compared to their investment. Stable in the longterm is not often what investors are looking for.
CCP and EVE are working fine, all is good. Investors don’t care about that. From the customer perspective a perfectly fine working company can be deemed unprofitable by investors and get shut down, split and sold off in parts from one day to the other. This did not happen to CCP, which means that the new investors seek to profit from aspects of the company they couldn’t profit when buying single parts. Or they may even see the chance to grow CCP again, from a business perspective and in turn grow from a customer perspective.
All of this will probably mean change to how we play the game, at least over time. But the truth is, that within the current economic system there is no place for stable companies: there is only growth or digestion. We’ll see which of the two happens to EVE in the next few years.
There is one thing that may have worked, but it would have required that thousands of players organize themselves for the good of the game. collectively put those $425m on the table and use the dividends to pay back the loans they took. It’s possible, but most people won’t take that amount of responsibility for a game, taken that most people are not even willing to organize in such a way for much more important things in their live.
CCP is controlled by whoever owns it. The owners determine who is going to be CEO and possibly a few other chief positions. The control below that level is held by the management, but they are always controlled by shareholders. It was like this before and it is like this now. Unless P.A. already decided to digest CCP (which is possibly, but then they could have bought off the parts they wanted), EVE may actually have a chance to not only keep on going, but grow again. Your pessimism or my optimism have not much influence on the process.
There is no decision to shut the game down. And if it ever comes to that, I’m sure some Dev will release everything we need. But: do you realize that the charm of EVE is playing on one server together? Everybody running their own server would be quite boring. Actually there already is a clone out there and to my knowledge it is not used much, I guess because people like the communal aspect of the single shard game more than anything else.